Conducting the first ten minutes of a new series entirely via mobile phone conversations is something of a gamble. So is expecting an audience to care immediately about a bunch of Dublin gangsters they’ve never met. This four-part drama flirts dangerously with offering too little too soon. It’s not without promise and events begin to coalesce into something like a promising narrative towards the end. But for too long, the pacing is a problem.
However, it’s just about sustained by a decent cast including Aiden Gillen as gang boss John Boy and Robert Sheehan’s prodigal footsoldier Darren – although it’s sometimes hard to accept this clean-cut bunch as the ruthless bastards we’re told they are. Tonight, an early murder leads the gang to look both within and without for a culprit – they take their time about it, but this might just be worth persevering with.
Fried chicken. In London it’s schoolkid crack, peddled in plain sight up and down high streets everywhere. It’s a toxic synthesis of salt, fat and capitulated meat that sends our city’s boroughs flying up the obesity tables with every mouthful. (It’s also the bane of urban dog-walkers, as anyone who has felt that tug-tug-tug on the lead accompanied by the canine crunching of discarded pavement bones will be able to attest to.) As a food, it has a monopoly on certain of our postcodes. London runs on fried chicken in the way it used to run on oysters. And like oysters, fried chicken has been reappraised for the discerning set. All over London new poultry purveyors have opened claiming their birds’ range to be the free-est, their buttermilk soaking to be the most luxurious, their batter to be the crispiest this side of the Atlantic. Every day, it’s a battle of the birds. Tottenham’s Chicken Town is a chicken shop, but it’s different. For a start, it’s non-profit, which is tantamount to communism in 2015’s London. The chicken is free-range. It’s steamed, then quickly fried to crisp up the coating (and is, by the way, delicious). Sides include the likes of sweet potato wedges and kale – try asking for that in Delaware Fried Chicken. By night, it’s a restaurant proper, complete with sit-down menu and table service, but one that deliberatedly chosen not to be a yuppie hipster joint, but to appeal to the local community, right down to the affordable price tags. Two pieces of chicke